We have included this film in our program to illustrate the work and
contributions of our star Helen Gibson.
"The Open Track" (1916), directed by James Davis from a story by
Edward T. Matlack, is a short action film from a serial by the name of
"The Hazards of Helen" starring Helen Gibson. This is episode
63 from a total of 119 weekly one reel films produced by Kalem, showing just
how popular this serial was in 1914-1917. The first 48 films starred
Helen Holmes, the remaining 71 starred Helen Gibson. They both played
heroines that were independent and adventurous, resolving dangerous situations
with quick thinking. Their acting was very physical and they performed
their often very dangerous stunts. It is believed to be the longest film
series in the silent era and one of the longest ever.
Helen Gibson is a railway station operator who gets caught in a
federal investigation of counterfeit money. There is a lot of action in
this episode with one particularly dangerous stunt performed by Helen Gibson as
she chases a runaway locomotive on motorcycle.
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